After yesterday’s trauma, it’s a sober start to the day. It’s taking a bit of courage to move past the safe haven of having a hospital nearby.
Himself has a trip planned into the Austrian Alps. It’s shown as a “green path” in our old school map – so deemed for its natural beauty. Just the thing to focus my thoughts elsewhere.
Austria is certainly a scenic spot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a country more manicured. Even in the alps, any area uncovered by forest is either a wildflower haven or mowed greenery – there’s barely a blade of grass out of place.
The villages are equally pristine with flowered window boxes, precisely trimmed hedges, colourful buildings and planter boxes spilling over with summer blooms. I’m pretty sure that if you kept an untidy garden here, you might well be run out of town with pitchforks hot on your heels.
As we ascend, the temperature drops. Yesterday’s highs of 30+ celcius become 15 degrees with altitude and a light rain. It’s not long before we’re driving through cloud – that’s quite an experience.
We stop at the top, 1600 metres above sea level, in amongst the ski fields with cows for neighbours. The views are spectacular, if little cloudy, and we’re even high enough for wild lupins to flourish.
Our new buddies make overtures, not quite sure about us, but curious enough to want to know more.
Best of all there’s a cafe offering warm apfel strudel – we’ll just tuck two of those away for dessert, shall we? I’m making a roesti for dinner. It’s an Alsace regional dish that works well in the cooler mountain weather – grated potato, lardons and Munster cheese, baked until golden. It’s a new favourite of Himself’s, copied from a restaurant lunch in Colmar.